I Just Can’t Watch

Have you ever been at one of your child’s activities or in a situation where as much as you wanted to be supportive and encouraging of your child, you just couldn’t bring yourself to watch? Perhaps he or she was doing something very risky, or potentially dangerous, or just something that triggered old issues for you and you just couldn’t bring yourself to watch and cheer? I imagine that most of us parents have been in that situation and we have to negotiate a way to stay involved and supportive and acknowledge that it is hard for us to really be on board at the same time…

As I sat down to write this, dozens of situations flashed through my brain–times when my child was the goal keeper in a soccer game facing a hard-driving penalty kick, when my middle daughter ran for student government and performed a song she’d written with her guitar as her campaign speech, solos in the school concerts, and the first time my tiny third-grade daughter faced a real pitcher in fast-pitch softball. As a parent, we want our children to take risks and try new things, but we want to keep them safe and secure at the same time. The two are not always the most compatible perspectives!

I remember my own mother being unable to bring herself to watch a few of my escapades as well. I think it is important that our children know that we are there for them and that we have complete faith and belief in their endeavors and efforts, we just sometimes cannot help but worry. If they know that our inability to “watch” is really about our own anxiety and fears and not a lack of confidence in their abilities, perhaps they will forgive us our occasional skittishness and know that we are behind them 100% regardless.

Also: I Don’t Have That Much Power

Healthy Involvement Vs. Micromanaging

Helping From Behind the Scenes